The Communication Trust Newsletter
May 2012


Our newsletters this year will share information about the work of the Trust, how we're continuing the legacy of the Hello campaign and updates from the world of speech, language and communication.

You'll also be able to find out what is happening with member organisations of the Trust.

Decoding phonics for children with SLCN

As schools prepare to administer June’s phonics check for the first time, The Communication Trust has published Communicating Phonics to support teachers and school staff.

Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) is the most common SEN identified by primary schools and is a feature of many other areas of SEN, such as hearing impairment, learning difficulties and autistic spectrum difficulties. There are implications for how children with SLCN can access the phonics screening test.

The Trust has therefore developed Communicating Phonics to suggests ways in which children with SLCN could be supported to access the phonics test.

Aimed at Year 1, reception class teachers and SENCOs, Communicating Phonics, will help teachers to deliver the test this June and also to interpret the results, but also has lots of useful tips and advice to support the overall literacy development of children with SLCN.Communicating Phonics

The guide was compiled by Symbol UK, providers of specialist speech and language therapy to children and adults with special needs, with specialist input from the Trust’s consortium of voluntary sector organisations.

It's available to download for free from

You can also download factboxes for professionals, parents and carers on the key principles behind the test and how to develop the literacy skills of children with SLCN.

Responding to the release of the SEN Progress Report

The Communication Trust welcomed the announcement of the SEN Progress Report, particularly the focus on early identification and the drive towards a more joined-up system that makes it easier for families.

However, the Trust also highlighted concerns about the effect the proposals would have for the 1 million children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

For example, changes in labelling, particularly around the diagnosis of behavioural, social and emotional problems could have negative implications for those with SLCN. We need to work hard to ensure that the ‘hidden’ difficulties of children with SLCN are identified early across all phases of education.

To see our full response, click here.

The Trust's Professional Director Wendy Lee wrote a post for the Guardian Teachers’ Network blog in response to the announcement of the SEN Progress Report. To read it, please click here.

Here is a selection of the coverage the Trust received for its response to the Report announcement:
- Nursery World
- The Independent

Job vacancy: Professional Advisor, 4 days a week, fixed 6 month contract for immediate start

£34,000 - £37,000 pro rata

Based: London, EC1 but could be flexible

The Communication Trust is looking for a committed individual to input professional advice on speech, language and communication to support our extensive programme of work. The post holder will undertake desk research and gap-analysis, and will also support the Professional Directors with content development of particular projects.

To view a job specification and application pack, click here.

If you would like an informal discussion about this post, please contact Eve Wagg on 0207 843 2517.

Closing date is noon on Monday 11th June with interviews on the 18th June.


Talking is just the ticket for school museum visit

TOTTChatter was the name of the game as 114 nursery and reception children from Baguley Primary School in Wythenshawe took their parents on a special school trip last week to the Museum of Science and Industry.

We funded the visit as part of our Talk of the Town project aimed at giving parents the opportunity to get involved with their children’s speech, language and communication development.

Parents were given a booklet full of information and questions to spark discussion as they looked around the exhibits including the ‘air and space’ and experiments area.

Talk of the Town is an innovative project, led by The Communication Trust and the South Manchester Inclusive Learning Enterprise (SMILE) to improve children and young people's speech, language and communication.

To read our press release please click here.
To read our blog about the museum visit please click here.
For more information on Talk of the Town please click here.

Sentence Trouble film hits 1,000 mark

The Trust’s youth justice film Sentence Trouble – Better Communication in the Youth Justice System has now logged more than 1,000 views (and climbing) on Youtube and Vimeo since its release in April.

This is a terrific response particularly given its more targeted audience. We're aware that the film has been used at a number of events already, including events for magistrates and the legal profession.

You can view the video on YouTube at or on Vimeo at

Pointers posterNew youth justice resources

New resources are now available on the Trust’s Sentence Trouble website. We have produced a set of 6 posters and 6 postcards in partnership with the Youth Justice Board. Each poster and postcard features a useful tip to help support the communication needs of the young people you work with. They can be used as handouts or placed around workspaces and noticeboards to help remind people how they can help.

Please click here to visit the website to download them.





A RALLI-ing cry for better SLI support

A group of academics has launched RALLI, a video-led campaign aimed at raising awareness of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) by sharing people’s experiences and what can be done to help those affected.
The videos are aimed at children, parents and education professionals because, although the condition is quite common, it gets little recognition. Children with SLI have difficulty both in understanding and expressive language - this can impact on how they learn and form friendships, and on their educational development.

Figures show 40% of children with SLI struggle to interact with their peers and that they are twice as likely to be bullied. These issues often do not stop as they get older and teenagers with language impairment are more than twice as likely to report symptoms of anxiety or depression.

The team of academics has been supported by Afasic, The Waterloo Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

To see the RALLI films click here.

nasen seeking additional Trustees

In December 2012 nasen will be celebrating its 21st birthday and wants to expand its board of trustees to further support the organisation as it moves forward.

There are six vacancies for candidates from communications, marketing, law, health, the voluntary sector, education, special needs and disability.

The term of office will begin in September 2012, following an induction. This is a commitment for 3 years, with the option of a further 3 years. The Board meets at least 4 times per year, in the Midlands. Trustees will not be paid, but out of pocket expenses are reimbursed.

Please click here to download an application pack and here for an application form.
For further information please email Jane Cobby at

CLIC Sargent recruiting a part time Research Assistant

CLIC Sargent is currently looking for a part time Research Assistant to help with an exciting new research project.  This is a four month contract, 21 hours a week (£22,000 pro rata).
Working as part of the Policy and Public Affairs Team, the Research Assistant will work with the Research and Policy Officer on scoping and undertaking a key corporate research project focused on the educational experience of children with cancer. This vital work will support policy development, campaigning and the identification of best practice in support of the charity’s vision and position on education issues.                                            

For more information please click here.

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of nearly 50 voluntary sector organisations. We bring together our expertise to ensure that the speech, language and communication needs of all children and young people are met through signposting specialist training, support and guidance to people working with children.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trustís consortium please go to or for more information e-mail

Communication Matters - Call for TrusteesCommunication Matters

Communication Matters needs Trustees with a range of skills who can help to develop it as an organisation and implement its strategic objectives. Particularly important this year are a range of perspectives on AAC as well as skills in lobbying, organising and leading events, producing awareness raising and training materials, evaluation of grant applications, reviewing and selecting papers to be included in the annual conference, and a capacity to give of your own time.

This year there will be 4 vacancies on the Board of Trustees, to be elected by Associate members at the next Annual Meeting this September.

If you want to help Communication Matters develop and further its aims and objectives, have time to devote to work as a Board member, and you are a current Individual member of Communication Matters (or are applying for membership), then download the nomination form below and return it to us by Friday 10 August 2012.

Please click here to download the nomination form.

I CANI CAN - Talking the Language of School Improvement day course

Clive Robson and Mary Hartshorne from I CAN are running a one day course called Talking the Language of School Improvement on Friday 13th July in central London. It is aimed at those working in schools to help improve pupils’ speech, language and communication skills and will focus on how their work can dovetail with the main drivers currently in school- raising pupil achievement,  improving the quality of teaching, improving behaviour, Ofsted and making use of school data to plan for effective interventions (Mary and Clive promise to make the data section fun!).

Please click here to find out more information and to register for the course.

Latest post on the I CAN blog

Ofsted, from January 2012, now has a spotlight on pupils’ communication skills. The inspectors must consider how well pupils develop a range of skills, including reading, writing, communication and mathematical skills and how well they apply these across the curriculum’.

Please click here to read more.

NDCSNational Deaf Children's Society - Stolen futures report

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) has launched the Stolen futures report which shows that one in four local authorities are cutting services for deaf children and many more are under threat.

These and future plans to cut services could have serious consequences for deaf children. Please email your MP about the report today asking them to tell the Government what they must do to protect services for deaf children for the future.

NLTNational Literacy Trust - London Champions recognised at City Hall

Earlier this week, families and volunteers from across the capital visited City Hall in recognition of their involvement in an innovative National Literacy Trust project, Literacy Champions, which is funded by the Mayor of London. The initiative is part of Team London, the Mayor's strategy to harness volunteers from across the capital to deliver key projects to improve the quality of life and opportunities of Londoners.

Literacy Champions aims to help the one London child in three that struggles with literacy. In the last year more than 450 volunteers have become Literacy Champions to show parents how they can support their children’s literacy development. 859 families from disadvantaged areas in 19 boroughs have benefited from the project so far.

The scheme supports parents over a course of five weeks, encouraging them to share books with their children and introducing them to fun learning activities they can take part in with their child. Emerging findings indicate that parents feel more confident about sharing books with their child and about visiting the library as a result of the project. Parents have reported an increase in the number of times they visit the library and share a book with their child in an average week.

For more information, click here.

Contact us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


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